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tv   Authors Discuss Writing Biographies  CSPAN  April 23, 2017 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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>> welcome to the campus of the university of southern california and the 22nd annual los angeles times festival of booktv is live all day long and there's a full lineup of author events and call-in programs. today you hear from authors. for a complete schedule of today's coverage go to t you can also follow us on facebook,
12:01 am on twitter,@book tv, and on instagram,@book underscore tv for behind the scenes images and videos. first up, an author panel on wright biographs. authors books on eleanorf roosevelt, frederick douglass and ray and joan croc. this is the l.a. times festival of books. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]le >> i'm the moderator. that's better. i don't mine you not listening to me. i used to be city ed for of the los angeles times and nobody listen to to me them so i got used it to. after retiring from the times i wrote -- i began writing for a number of web-basedvo publications. i write most frequently for one called truth dig, edited by robert scherer, and depending on my political views you'll love or hate this very progressive web site. i also write for the jewish
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journal of los angeles and the l.a. observed and a couple of a other things. our subject is women behind the power, and our panelists have written about how these famous men, three of them, -- how they were shaped or influenced by women. one of the women was one of the most famous people in the world in her day, eleanor roosevelt. another was joan kroc, wife of the mcdonald's mogul. she one as famous but also a dominant figure. the third was interestingly, influenced by not one person but by a movement of women who influenced him.
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he was the great abolitionist and former slave, frederick douglass. our panelists have two jobs, and as an author i want to point out the most important is the first. for them to talk about their books and n such a compelling manner that you'll all line up afterwards to buy copies and have them sign it, and that guess on right out here. the second is to shed some light on the changing ways women influence men, and things have changed, you know. from the days when lucy trickedd ricky into doing something he didn't want to do or from the days of mad men where sexual
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harassment exploitations and a glass bullying and glass ceiling were part of every workplace. to show how far we have come, monday at 5:00 p.m., no more bill o'reilly. [applause] >> right. our four panelists havefour pan chronicled his history. ley fought goes back to the love of douglass. the former slave who became a powerful leader in the abolition movement. she is assistant professor of history at des moines college in syracuse and tells the story of douglass wife, anna, mother of their large family. but beyond that, she explores the fascinating story of how douglass -- >> talk into the mic.
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>> how douglass' career was shaped by the other powerful social movement of the times, women's suffrage. blanch cook was the "los angeles times" book award in 1992 for the first of her three volumes on the life of eleanor roosevelt. she is here today to talk to us about the third. a fascinating book, how eleanor labored so hard to persuade her husband to live up to the ideals of the new deal and she had been more successful in the early years but it became too much ofa a she didn't win her battles. she had to compromise onon political policy just as she did in her marriage.
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susan quinn offered another look the relationship between fdr and his wife in her fascinatingfascn book, eleanor, the love affair that shaped the first lady.ickox hicks was famous ap write who covered eleanor and became close. they became lovers and more than that she shaped -- she helped shape and guide eleanor. and finally, lisa napoli, a journalist who, while on assignment for kcrw here in los angeles, happened upon a great statue by paul conrad, the fameous cartoonist, paul conrado
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it's right across the street from rand and it was saved from a huge contribution from an anonymous source. the source was joan kroc, the wife of ray. and -- she tells the story of a marriage. i wrote this out because it -- this wasn't really the woman, as i said, behind the man. it was like a whole bunch of women. how do i phrase this. i want to know in reading your>> book i got the idea that he was also influenced greatly by his association with the leaders of the women's suffrage movement, as influences bid the here's leaders of the women's suffrage movement.
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who are largely white, middle class and upper class people. could you tell us about how that influence worked. >> okay. which part, anna or the suffrage movement. >> i'm interested in theem suffrage movement because it was just getting started. m how dishid association with the leaders -- how did his association with the leaders of this movement influence him? >> okay, that actually was the hardest part of the book to write but a what mow e moe people tell you about frederick douglass, oh, frederick douglass andwoman and you hear the bomb, chick-a, mom, mom. and then he was a women's suffrage man and a civil rightsf man and he called himself that.
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and when i started to get into it, i found that there was really not a lot of there there when i started to get into it.t. and and i had two chapters on that and had to rewrite them. the last thing i could write. there was not a lot of there there. so i had to go back and look at what was -- okay, what did he die? -- what did he do? that's how i approached things, what did he say, not what you did. what did he say? which was like, yay, women. duh, and what i found is all of this starts in he 1850s, very exciting time in american history. you had the abolition movement, and antislavery movement, which is becoming very transformative. how do you end slavery from a
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lot of different directions, and if you're interested in that, there's a book that came out last year called "the slave cause." then you have the women's rights movement and wasn't just suffrage, it was a whole lot of things and they didn't want for form association because of thef fighting in the movement so they usually meet annually and locally and what are women's rights and what to do about it.t then you also have the black convention movement, which i almost explicitly male but black civil rights, which is talking about discrimination against african-americans in the north. and so when i started looking at the different movement, there's this overlap. it's like a diagram, and douglass was right in that overlap. so when it started looking at the conventions -- especially the women's rights and the black convention movement, because
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they were the most -- the black convention movements were male dominated because we have to be men, and so our manhood in a period of time in which black manhood was being very muchd demeaned, and then the women's rights movement, which was predominantly white and middle class. so every black convention movement, when they talk about womens' should women participate and speak, he was there saying, women should be part of this. women's rights should be part of this. s thought, good for him. and then when the civil war -- where people tend to focus on a split is when the 15th 15th amendment coming up there had been an effort to make the 15th amendment everybody can vote, and what happened was it said just men could vote. and so a lot of women suffragists -- not their fight when it coming to stanton, susa
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b anthony and they said a lot of oh, no, please, don't, no. and others had to say, look, you have to take what you can get.oo it's politics. we didn't write this and can't risk everything. way what we bought we can't risk it. so douglass said we have to take black voting rights and this created a clash. >> so there was a room forwas a compromise. >> yes. >> political compromise. i just interrupted you because it occurred to me that our next author, blanche cook, wrote very much about compromise. this is a really unfair question to ask someone who has completed
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three volumes on eleanor, but what was the essential quality that made her so great? i have a friend who is 90 years old and she still talks with wonder about reading eleanor roosevelt's column, "my day" in the los angeles paper. what was that quality that made her so great? >> thanks, bill. before i answer any question, i just want to say how grateful and happy i am to be here the i l.a. times book festival, and it's a place where i had a lot of business in the old days. i want to do a shoutout to tom crouch, head of the l.a. times book festival for decades and to bob scherer, who you worked
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with, bill, and a whole lot of folks, and here we are in 21st 21st century, meeting this festival and this harmonic convergence. so thank you for supporting this great festival. yay, l.a. times book festival. [applause] >> and so what makes eleanor roosevelt so special, and i have to say when i finish my eisenhower back, the declassified eisenhower, wrote any journal i have now spent most of my vital youth withun dead general. now i have spent most of my life with eleanor roosevelt. it's been a very long time and i'm so happy i did it because eleanor roosevelt never stopped growing and changing. and what made her so great is
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that her friend, lady stella redding, this wonderful woman who ran the wartime emergency help brigade in england during world war ii said eleanor roosevelt's first love was the people, and that really, i think, is the essence of eleanor roosevelt. she loved people and she wanted to make life better for everybody in want in need, in trouble. she went around the country and around the world, and she said, tell me, what do you want? what do you need? and everybody is always asking me, how did she get that way? and she answer seems to me at this point, very simple. her father, who she loved very much, was an alcoholic, who died the age of 34. so we need to pause and say, well, how much did he have to drink to die the age of 34.
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i mean, we're still here. and her mother died when eleanor roosevelt was eight. she essentially turned her face to the wall and her father died when she was ten. and eleanor roosevelt spent the rest of her life growing and changing, wanting to make the world better for people in want in need, and in trouble, people just like her own family, didn't matter that she was privileged or that her uncle was theodore roosevelt. she really had empathy for humanity, and she really did see us as all connected, which i can talk about later because i want to talk about wendell wilkie and one world. everything that happens anywhere affects everybody everywhere.he we are all connected and that ha wrote that in 1942, and that
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became eleanor roosevelt's wartime and post war vision, which she articulated even before that. and so for me, her work against bigotry and discrimination anddi segregation, her work for human rights and dignity for all people, and she always said, what we need above all is education, even before bernie, eleanor roosevelt said, we needd free, public, higher education. for everybody. [applause], she said that in 1942. in 1934, the first time the educators of america had a resident luigs to -- resolution to don dem segregation, she gave a brilliant speech in so many 2 and volume 3 in which she concludes by saying, why don't we understand?
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we all go ahead together, or we all go down together. and that is where we are today, and her legacy is immediate, and because she had hopes and said, courage can be as contagious as fear. hope we have hope and we can come back to her relationship with her husband if you like. she was his conscience. and he was her barometer. >> i want to ask susan about this. was was very interesting -- i was taken with a your -- with lower lorraine hickok, who was a star reporter for the "associated press" in the 20s and 30s, and i had worked forhe the "associated press" for ten
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years in the '60s. and at that time 30 years later, it was a sexiest -- like all news organizations at the time, it was a sexiest men's only pretty much organization with a glass ceiling that no womanth could penetrate and, yes, here was this female reporter. who moved ahead and didn't do the stores like women do aboutli sick kids but who coveredis outt political campaigns, out there with the guys and rose to theop top of her profession. she came from a very poor background.
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what were the qualities that pushed her ahead, and what was the qualities that made her the woman behind the woman that endeared her to eleanor roosevelt, because she must have been, like, nobody ever knew. >> well, actually, not, becauset eleanor roosevelt actually liked sort of working class people. she had had a relationship even. were -- it was remarkable. i'm glad you affirm how sexist the ap was and it was that in the 1930s and hi -- hicks was angry about getting assigned to
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trivial stories and she said it made her savage, and the was full of indig nation, feeling -- indignation, and empathy but she covered the stories and she didn't want to cover eleanor,no she wanted to consecutive fdr,r, then she began to perceive that eleanor roosevelt was not an ordinary first lady and she wouldn't have to just write for the women's page. eleanor had a much more serious message and a more serious person and that was the beginning door the relationship. she had been the of top of apto and written about the lindbergh kidnapping and she knew eleanor a little bit from the years of the -- her being the governor's wife in new york, but she really, really got to know her when she was covering the fdr campaign in 1932, and they began
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to confide in each other, and as plane has said -- blanche has said, despite her privileged childhood, eleanor had a very lonely and sad childhood in many ways and so did lorena hickok but a very different crime. came from a very poor family, a violent, abusive father who couldn't keep a job and travel from one little railroad town the next in the da dakotas, he beat his cans -- everybody called her hick -- he beat andl killed her pets and beat her, too. finally her mother died when she was 12 and she was pretty much kicked out at 13 of her house and lived life as a girl, working as a girl in other people's houses, not even barely making it through high school. so, it's quite remarkable that s
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she became so successful. there was a determination, a deep kind of fight in her, and that won out in the end, and she also -- but she was also tough. she was very tough and in fact the beginning of that relationship with eleanor was when she got bumped -- another reporter got to go on a private little trip with the roosevelts and she didn't, and she was very angry about it, and she spoke up, and that was when eleanor noticed her for the first time. so, she was a fighter but also very, very empath thick person. her -- when she was the minneapolis tribune and then also as an ap reporter with these stories about people going through hard times. there was another reporter on the train whoa said that hick would go out when they made these whistle stops and talk with people who were coming to
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the whistle stops to hear fdr and would come back to train with tears streaming down her face because she heard these stories of hardship and hard luck and she like eleanor had tremendous empathy for people's struggles, and then, of course, she gave it up for love in way also and i think it's important to say that she was -- we were -- the title -- the women behind the men but actually she was a woman behind a woman and really did help eleanor to shape her first ladyhood, i guess that's the word -- and to help her to become the unique first lady that she was. you mentioned my day, and that kind of grew out of a correspondence between hick and eleanor, and eleanor support of doing a kind of diary for hick of her day, and out of that came the idea, may have been hick, or both of theirs to do this column
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which she continued to do for her entire life, almost to the end, six days a week, and it introduced her to the american people and to the world, and that was one of the ways -- there were a number in which hick was the woman behind the woman and had a really importani affect on eleanor roosevelt's role and leadership as the first lady of the world. >> can you imagine a better way of getting a message through to your husband-president when he wouldn't talk to you and then had to pick up the paper in the morning? how many of you have seen paul conrad's great sculpture in santa monica called "chain reaction? " it's really something, of course the location of it, across from rand, the think tank that conceived our nuclear policy, is perfect and must
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please conrad. well, anyway, the city of santa monica, whose greatness is -- political great is in greatly overrated, was going to tear it down or move it to some -- i don't know -- some place out in mid pico, where no one could see it, and the a group of people raised the money to save it, and lisa napoli, a journalist, went out there to see about that, and jerry rubin, who was putting this together, told her that the big -- the generous person was named joan kroc. and she was the widow of ray kroc, and from that lisa napoli began a search for who was this woman, what was she like, and
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the same time, began to discover her husband, who was bombastic, egotistical, self-centered, conservative, unconsiderate of other people. does this sound familiar? and she wrote this excellent book that i really enjoyed being a fan of that statue. lisa, want to ask you, ray was such an obsessive, pushy, pu know-it-all as i said. how do joan stick with him? was it love? was it money? what was it? >> good question.
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i have to clarify something, though.n. joan didn't pay to restore the sculpture. joan paid for the sculpture in the first place, and what i wondered as i stood underneath that nuclear mushroom cloud w sculpture -- i'm glad you enjoyed my book, thank you, that mean as lot. asked jerry rubin, a local peace activist. asked him who paid for it in the i first place, he whip at thed to me because empeople would know her name and in 2003 when s she died she game a lot of money to npr. she funded the statue in first place in 1991 and there we were in 2014 standing underneath it with paul conrad's son, and they wondered how to rates the money
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and convince the city not to tear it done. initially it was going to be in beverly hills. but they didn't want a sculpture of a nuclear mushroom cloud in beverly hills and santa monica didn't want it, either, but i'd rather talk about joan since that's white we're here, and hearing all this other esteemed authors talk about women, the roots of women who were great forces in our great country, joan kroc was underrecognized in my estimation, because she really was a great phil philanthropist, the likes of gates and buffet but never got her due because, a. shark was associate it with mcdonald's which is a polarizing fires, and, b., she didn't want recognition, and to answer you question why did he stick witht ray. she didn't marry ray for 12 years after the met. they were
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both married to other people. he divorced wife one and married wife two until joan would agree to marry him, and i believe she had trepidation once she did finally marry him in 1969 and a couple of years later she filed for divorce because in addition to all the other qualities you listed about ray, he was also al abusive alcoholic, and joan couldn't take it anymore but she decided to stay in the marriager and one might deduce cynically that she stayed because of money. he was 26 years older, and when he died in 1984, by the time he died in 1984, joan hat -- >> he had a deep craving for whiskey. >> yes. >> called early times, and i was telling lisa before hand, i
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haven't -- having consumed some of it issue objected her to calling it rot gut whiskey, but a she said it's gone downhill since i drank it. >> or your taste has gone uphill. >> that's could be. >> we'll have a nip-off later on. but ray continued to drink even after he became one of the richest men the done trip when mcdonald's went public in 1962 which was on wife two's wind chill and by the time joan entered the picture ray was more bombastic and difficult and pickled than ever before, and joan -- what made me fall in love with joan, as i was trying to understand why she had funded this peace sculpture?
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santa monica and what made me fall in life with her, in the fails of this alcoholism, she went to al-anon and she got herself help through al-anon and fill so in love with the principles of al-anon she took a sizable chunk of ray'sal foundation funds party and something she called operation cork, kroc spilled backwords. and proceeded to use the mcdonald's pr machine which as we all know was quite enormous, to deploy movies and books and public service announcements to commission these things the highest level. she got the best and the brightest, and disseminate them around the country, movies on tv, books distributed through self-addressed stamped envelopes. if you remember those, through "dear abby" public service
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announcements and she stuck it to him and the merchandise the mcdonald's machine was concerned she would out this man who, in the '70s, as this horatio algier, boy scout, fabulous guy, joan knew the secret and she never outed him while he was alive but she started this massive organization that was seminal in the attempt of the alcoholism education movement which was just burgeoning in the '70s. so that's why she stuck with him. she saw i -- a long way of saying he money he had want as avenue for her to tap into their deep and abiding empathy compassion, having grown up poor and uneducated. >> ways was reading the books i was trying to think of a theme -- that's what moderators
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the festival only books always have this problem of having a unified theme to hold it all together, and i was thinking, all of the women, including several women you wrote about, eleanor, hick, joan, they had the ability -- i want you to comment on this every ask the question and then maybe discuss it back and forth. they they had the ability to see beyond then -- themselves, to see the great world outside themselves. none of them were content with the traditional role of women at the time, instead, as i said,
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they saw a troubled world and were going to fix it. we kind of live in a different generation here. what can this generation oftiono women learn from the women you wrote about? i'll start with you. >> okay. >> please just feel free to -- if you have some thought, don'tt have -- if you have someut thoughts, interrupt. it's okay. >> you mean like -- >> this is the l.a. times festival of books. when when i worked at it, it was pandemonium a lot of days. let's have that. okay. tell me. what can women learn from the many women who helped frederick douglass become frederick douglass? >> what can they learn.
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well, i mean, they were living in quite a different time. they were living in a time in which -- the one thing is you use the tools you have at your disposal, and what found with most of the women i was writing bat -- mostly living in the 19th century, very circumdescribed roles for women, limited education, andso when they saw an opportunity they seated it. what i noticed with each of them was they had their agenda, and what they saw with douglass was a way to pursue that agenda, ana the ones that he most admired that were the most influential of him were the ones who were willing to push those boundaries, that they didn't stay within necessarily the prescribed roles.
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so they were willing to break those roles. i'm not -- i never thought of them in terms of having lessons to teach this generation of women, because, again, they were just living in a wholly different world. >> well, eleanor roosevelt different in a wholly different world and had things to say. >> let me just say that el eleanor roosevelt really believed in building movements and she didn't live in a world totally different. she lived in a world of fascism and tyranny, a world familiar t us, fascism, tyranny, bigotry, and hope, and eleanor roosevelt -- i mean, one of the things about the -- the two things you said, one, you said, let's look at how women are morn influential today.
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eleanor roosevelt might say to hillary rodham clinton, don't you remember, i told you, men hate women with power. and eleanor roosevelt was asked many times to run for office, and she said she would rather be chloroformed than run for office because women weren't ready. they weren't united. they hadn't sufficiently gone door do, block by block, community to community, to build a women's movement, a justice movement, wi have to build movements. and that was part of what she did, and she influenced people as different, as, for instance, clare booth luce who was hinted the movement to get eleanor
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roosevelt to the senate to get eleanor roosevelt vice president and clare booth luce said eleanor roosevelt was among the world's best loved women because no william has ever comforted the distressed or the distressea the comforted. >> you said something that shakes me out of my box. it's a shame she says that women aren't ready for it because 100 years earlier you did have all of these women who did get out there in the streets and this is the lesson to learn. they had to relearn the lesson, that they -- you had all these people who were breaking this prohibition on them pulling together, going door to door, getting women to sign petitions, siesenting them to the state
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legislatures. going -- having fundraisingis events. they called them sewing circles, ladies antislavery society, sewing circled. sound so genteel but one of douglass' buying agrapher deepened them but they were sewing crafts they would sell at fairs and usually useful items for women, like aprons and baby bonnets that women would buy at fairs which raised money to help bide a ticket to send a fugitive slave on an actual slave on a train to canada and they were fundraising and they kept a movement going during the lulls. so this kind of organization -- you have moments within women's history where it gets lost, like eleanor's great-grandmother was
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doing this -- her generation, and then -- she -- >> she wanted to continue doing and it she called it troupingwa for democracy. dropping for democracy, i don't want to hog the time bit youti said you didn't want to steal my line, and i line is i never go anywhere without my gang, and i'm very grateful for my gang here, claire is here, and my god children are here. we need each other, and eleanor -- i want to talk when i come back about eleanor roosevelt's gang, who really did introduce the changes -- >> something about eleanor roosevelt that bothers me. >> okay.y. >> and about roosevelt, too. but -- i'm sorry to interrupt. compromise. compromise. >> well. >> she compromised. she compromised with her marriage with lucy mercerr
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rutherford and she compromised lucy mercer and compromised on he deepest principles and stood by while roosevelt, during the war, so intent was he on winning the war that he collaborated with the fascist, admiral darland and that he was less than enthusiastic about saving the european jews. >> absolutely. and eleanor pushed him hard toar support antilynching legislation and he would not because he didn't want to alienate his southern senators. he needed them for his agenda elm he was tactician and she was the moral force and there's no doubt that team was important. i want to point out that eleanor was a wonderful listener to people, and i think all of her politics, evenshow she believed in organization, she was actually very personal in the way that she learned about the world and the way that thewo
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responded to people's needs, and there was a a tolerance, a tremendous tolerance of a huge k range of opinions. even after martha gelhorm tried to start a white house. eleanor roosevelt invited her to the white house to stay there and write her next novel. and hick in a way we could learn from now, hick point out into the countryside and listened to people, and heard their stories and heard their struggles, and we're so divided now that we're not listening well to each other, and i think that hick, who wrote with blue wonderful blue about this, taught that lesson in a real important way.g >> host: lisa, you have something to say about this. >> well, i don't want to interrupt. >> no, mess, go ahead, interrupt. >> i know we're supposed to,
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bill told us we should. cnn style.d joan was incredibly political without -- and refused to run for office in '80s the height of her nuclear disarmament campaign. buying newspaper ads across the country and funding her daughter's group to fund marches and giving to walter mondale and working very close live with norma cousins and refused to rue for office because she recognized she had this power s with this money, but what we can learn from her, because most of us don't have the $3 billion she gave away the end of her life and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars through their life -- she never saw something and ignored it. when a man went into a mcdonald's and committed the worse mass murder at the time in history and n1984, six months after her husband died, she didn't wait until mcdonald's came forward.
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she came forward and plunkedrd d down $100,000 and went to san an esid crow and met with the families and time and time again she antibiotic. when her husband and her father had died in hospice, again, the early moment of hospice is in country, she was so taken by what hospice offered they she, behind the scenes, work with the hoss business in san diego to -- hoss hospice in san diego and secured the first land. she flew therm form are mayor of san diego, he good friend and part of this troika of power. she flew her friend in with a check for $15 million. so what we can learn from someone like that or from all of
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these women -- year it woulding books' -- they didn't sit back and wait for someone else to do something or let a man allow them to do something. they just acted and dealt with the consequences later if there were. in that's a remarkably important thing for us all to know and hear and why i spent five years working on this book. >> i just -- compromise. eleanor roosevelt compromised but never gave up her vision so that -- let in the just give one example. health care. we're talking about single payer and nobody has written a biography ofesser lape. eleanor roosevelt's great mentor and -- she and her partner, elizabeth reed, were the two forced behind eleanor who envisioned singing payer health care in the 1935 social security act, and the ama lobbied tote leather and then fdr won wobbled
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ask didn't want to get into a fight with the physicians of america over the years, 1940 even refused to meet with esther lape. eleanor roosevelt and esther lape continued to fight for singer payer when eisenhower was president. eisenhower wanted to have what be woo by single payer just like in the military. everybody covered. he said is that okay wife you he said to ovita the first women head of hew and people thought the was from texas and therefore a racist but a she a life maybe of the naacp and they brought in eleanor roosevelt and esther lape to fight for single payer. what came out of it was the health rear -- rear insurance act of 1957. the continued struggle. eleanor roosevelt was a fire she loved young people but when she came to visit young people
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in the 1960s, she said, go south for freedom. the students are sitting in and she encouraged all of using who then took buses to north carolina. a she never gave up. >> she always fought and i thin fdr was her barometer. she did compromise on some things. i'm not sure she compromised on lucy mercy but she did on missy la hand who she rather liked having in the house. called her the second wife. and it freed her. >> i don't think compromise is the right ward to describe eleanor roosevelt. she actually never gave up on anything and fdr said to hick at one point -- called ill nor the mrs. -- never argue with the mrs. because you have her beaten over hereafter and she pops up over there and that was
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absolutely true. she never gave up on causes and that drove fdr crazy and there were times when it just infuriateed him because she kept coming back to her causes. she just kept -- saw the goal and kept working at it and nibbling away and with a lot ofb success.f >> also to get back to the question of what outcome -- young people can learn today. see young people getting better. you can learn from their mistakes, too and one thing i thought that on these when i was describing this free movement, the establishment movement wasmo better than the other two movements but especially in the women's movement is cutting across -- we call the intersectionallity,
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intercivicses -- whenever black women -- they were more welcoming of black women in the women russ rights mom in the 1950s than they were welcoming of women in the black convention movement. but only to a certain level. we welcome you, just not in leadership roles. and wherever the black women would say let's talk about how black women are affected no these ways as black women and they said oh, no, this isn't an antes slavery movement, not a black civil rights movement. >> that's interesting. the same currents persisted through the civil rights movement. we'll open this up for questions from the audience but, remember, what is the great quote from adlai stevenson in his eulogy of eleanor roosevelt? bat the candle.
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>> she's right light a came than curse the darkness -- light a candle than curse the darkness, and one line: every woman in political life needs to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide. hearts open, fists high. [applause] , in. >> we have microphones out there.ha i'll call on somebody for a question. i have a question. how was joan kroc received by the very male dominated sportsr society? she owned the san diego padres
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baseball team, and by -- and also by the male dominated san diego political world? i know the mayor, maureen o'connor, was woman, and helen copley owned the newspaper but as i remember san diego it was e republican old boys place. how was joan kroc received? >> well, also by the mcdonald's executived. you can imagine when a beautiful 40-year-old woman married the chairman, 26 years older and assert evidence -- asserted her ambition and intellect in the world where she was expected to be a watch fob, they weren't thrilled and worried when ray died that she might assert her authority to the mcdonald's. the san diego padres -- she
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inherit evidence the time when ray died so she went in 1974 when ray bought the team say why would you want to by a monastery, he told her he bought the san diego padres so sitting with the then-manager of the too. team, and asking where first base was.e and i could go on and on with stories like that, too. actually having to run the teama and the end of her tenure has the team owner, wanting -- recognizing how powerful baseball was, wanting to give the team to san diego as a gift, and set up a trust to maintain it. but in answer to your question, the san diego padres mostt the notably goose gossage, the pitcher who said when jon tried to ban beer from -- she was
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poisoning the world with hamburgers and how dare she try to insert herself in management of the team. so it was complicated. but it was fascinating to read about and try to learn and understand and talk to old baseball executives about for sure. >> yes. >> get the mic. >> in writing biograph, one usually comes upon some surprises in the people you are writing about. could any of you comment on what surprised you most and spinals sometimes the surprises are disappointing and not always positive. what in your writing surprisedos you about the characters about the the people about whom you were writing. >> well, there were several things coming to mind.
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one thing which was surprising was that eleanor's circle was a circle of women who loved other women, women who were in lifetime partnershipsships and e women and this early political women in the suffrage movement continued to be part of the democratic party and part of eleanor's life. the two women with whom sheth w designed val kill,es city lape and her partner were important to her. so these women in life partnerships provided her education. one reason at that time it's not so surprising that when hick came along this could naturally become for a number of years a love affair because she was surrounded by this people couples. a another more negative thing was various -- anti-semitism of two kinds, el lower in -- eleanor in
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her early year, a jeantel, colorful, antisemitism which was ridely shared there is a letter later where hick is railing about someone who wouldn't do what she wanted and called that person a kike. hick when she went south her descriptions of black people were pretty shockingly degrading. even talking about them asti seeming to be not entirely human. and so that -- particularly that racism, eleanor helped her with a lot. >> let me just say that i asked joe lash once whine why he never had hick in any of his books and he said i hated her, and as matter of fact it was the first hick book -- i'm so grateful to susan quinn's book which everybody has to read because you really humanize hick and give us the big picture, but joe said he was the one who
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encouraged me to write eleanor roosevelt, and he hated her because she was a bigot. for me the big surprise was joe's wife -- eleanor roosevelt is a serial romantic, goes from earl to hick to younger people, like joe and truda. read my book. it's very weird. she gots very involved in their relationship butt ruda for me is a big surprise and somebody has to write a biography of -- who was a member of the germanground german underground and she and the american friends of german freedom are responsible sponsor the rescue operation and before she died she -- she never wanted nobody know this, never wanted joe to write about and it he didn't.
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but before she died i said to her, on her deck, what's up with nobody giving you credit for the rescue of the jews, their the rescue operation, that tiny little moment of haven, only a thousand people let into the united states, and she banged her fist on her table and said, don't write that. and i said i'm going to write it..'s and before she died she wrote me a letter saying,ey, it's true, i could write it. and her children gave me a lot of papers and they're all going to the fdr library, but the hero of this story, somebody who really encouraged eleanor roosevelt, and eleanor roosevelt helped make it possible to save the futures who were saved, is truda lash and so that for me was very big surprise. >> i want to say about joe lash hating hicks -- it went both
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ways, and i also want to saywe about hick, that she grew up in these impoverish ared parts of south dakota and was knowy exposed to these ways until she went to the south and likeck was eleanor, hick grew a lot and i also think that on the basic human, one-to-one level that hick was a very empath thick and comp passionate person who herself had such struggle in her own life.. just a little defense of hick. >> i'd like to thank you all for a very enlightening and entertaining session. blanche cook is going to -- heading up to san francisco for the wedding of a god child, and


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